KOTA KINABALU: Olympic champions Markis Kido-Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia are back on their feet, hungry for more success after a minor setback.
A knee injury to Markis saw them losing tamely to Malaysia’s Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Open early this month.
Now that Markis is in better condition, the world number one are all fired up to regain their winning touch against the Malaysians in the Super Series Masters Finals here.
Both the pairs are in Group B with Candra Wijaya-Tony Gunawan (Ina-Usa) and Mathias Boe-Carsten Morgensen (Den). Group A comprises Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif-Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari (Mas), Jung Jae-sung-Lee Yong-dae (Kor), Robert Blair-Chris Adcock (Eng) and Simon Mollyhus-Anders Kristiansen (Den).
Hendra said yesterday that they had gained a lot of confidence since beating Kien Keat-Boon Heong for the first time in seven meetings en route to winning the Olympic gold medal in Beijing last August.
“It was unfortunate that Markis came down with a knee injury at the Hong Kong Open. It affected our momentum. He is in better shape now,” said the 24-year-old Hendra.
“We have played against Koo and Tan many times. Their performances have dropped and it’s easier to play against them now. They are not mentally as strong as before.”
However, Hendra chose to take a cautious approach in the Masters Finals.
“We are in a tough group and we have to give our best. The main threat will probably be Jung and Lee who, like us, have been consistent this year,” he said.
Besides the prized Olympic gold medal, Hendra-Marki were also champions in four Super Series tournaments this year — in Malaysia in January followed by three consecutive victories in China, Denmark and France (Sept-Oct).
Jae-sung-Yong-dae bagged a total of four Super Series titles — All-England, Swiss, China and Hong Kong Open.
Hendra said that winning the Masters Finals would be a perfect Christmas gift for him. And it would also put them in the right mood for the new season.
“Our main goals next year are to win our first All-England title and defend our world title. We will not be pulling the brakes as far as winning titles are concerned,” he added.